In Brooklin, Maine (December 5-6, 2016)
We had one of those delicate dustings of snow that seem to dare you to come out in the cold and feel the flakes on your face. We eagerly accepted the challenge and walked through the woods, over the fields, and on the shoreline, peering through the veil of crystals. The following day, it dawned sunny and we took the same walk while the snow melted. The frosting is now gone wherever the sun reached, but we’ve preserved the following memories of the walks for ourselves and those who want to take them vicariously:
Shortly after the snow begins to fall, we head roughly north, on blue-blazed trails through our woods and those of our neighbors.
The trails end at the WoodenBoat School campus, where we turn left (roughly west) up the WBS driveway, and veer off onto the boat ramp road. Along the way, we pass the WBS student parking lot fence and some wild apples that proudly defy gravity.
The ramp road takes us down to the boat landing, where the large WBS dock is on our right (roughly north), reaching defiantly out through the snow into Great Cove.
We turn left along the Great Cove shore (roughly south). It’s high tide and, at times, we have only a few feet of land to walk on. Sometimes, we have to wade in shallow water and we give thanks for our Muck® boots. In about 10 minutes, we reach our “beach,” which is mostly under the high tide now. Our part of Great Cove’s shore curves into a small inlet. Due to the curve, we can see into the inlet as if we were out on the water.
Our inlet is a confluence: . A gurgling stream of fresh water comes down through the woods from our ponds, while the high tides carry salt water up from the other direction.
We climb the stairs up our 20-foot embankment, walk through the shore woods, and emerge at our largest pond, which is at one end of the rock wall in the middle of our north field. We walk up the field, through the garden, and onto the lawn, where the old family bench lives. We dust it off and sit in our monochromatic world for a while, just trying to Be.
The next morning, the sun comes up over our driveway trees and pierces our north woods with gold streaks.
As it gets within the tree tops, the sun lights the clouds, gives Babson Island a flash, and streaks across the north field.
We go out into the sun-speckled woods. The snow is fast disappearing around our favorite spring-fed stream. We emerge at WoodenBoat’s pond, which has frozen considerably over night.
We return via the shore and our north field, which is starting to melt where the sun reaches it. There still is snow among the wooded shadows that border the field, however. Feeding deer drift in and out of the light there, the snow iridescent around them. We stand still and watch until they saunter slowly off, not sensing us.
For larger versions of the above images, as well as a few additional images of the our walks, click on the link below. (We recommend that your initial viewing be in full-screen mode, which can be achieved by clicking on the Slideshow [>] icon above the featured image in the gallery to which the link will take you.) Here’s the link to the full virtual tour:
Barbara and Dick